Britain’s best summer pub walks

Whether planning to make a day of it or just stopping for a swift one, you can find a walk and watering hole to suit you. Here are a few favourites to visit this summer. 

A wildflower margin at Courthill Farm, Slindon, West Sussex.

The National Trust owns over 35 characterful and historic pubs and inns. As well as offering a warm welcome, lip-smacking ales and delicious local food, many of the pubs they care for have great walking opportunities nearby.


South West

The George Inn, Lacock, Wiltshire 

George Inn, Lacock/Credit: National Trust Images, Rupert Truman

Dating back to 1361 and featuring a huge open fireplace, the George Inn encapsulates the spirit of old England. The National Trust looks after much of the historic village of Lacock, and there is a plenty explore on foot from the grounds of Lacock Abbey to village and riverside walks. After all that walking you’ll deserve a trip to Lacock’s second pub – the Red Lion.

The Red Lion, Lacock, Wiltshire 

Red Lion Inn, Lacock Village/Credit: National Trust Images, Rupert Truman

The Red Lion in Lacock village is steeped in over 200 years of history. With its large open fireplace, candlelit tables, flagstone floors and Georgian interior it’s the perfect place to experience a friendly, traditional atmosphere.

South East

The George Inn, Southwark, London 

George Inn, Southwark Thames Path/Credit: Stephen Shepard

The capital’s last remaining galleried inn, The George Inn in Southwark could be a welcome refreshment stop on a walk along the Thames Path National Trail. The site has connections with Charles Dickens, who visited it when it was a coffee shop and mentioned it in Little Dorrit.

The King’s Head, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire 

Kings Head walk, Coombe Hill, Buckinghamshire/National Trust images, John Mills

Set in the heart of this historic market town, the 15th century King’s Head is one of England’s best preserved coaching inns. Dating back to 1455, the building has many fascinating architectural features, including rare stained-glass windows, exposed wattle and daub and the original stabling for the inn. Take a walk in the nearby Chilterns countryside, and afterwards visit the pub for a refreshing drink.

The Tiger Inn, East Dean, East Sussex 

Tiger Inn walk, Birling Gap/Credit: National Trust Images, Arnhel de Serra

Although the Tiger Inn in East Dean isn’t one of the pubs we care for it is the starting point for our circular South Downs walk to Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. You can pick up a beermat with the route on it from the pub and stop for a refreshing drink when you get back.


The George Inn, Slindon Estate, West Sussex

George Inn walk, Slindon/Credit: National Trust Images, John Millar

This walk around Nore Hill Folly from The George Inn at Eartham is perfect for warm days in spring, summer, and autumn, with much of the route overhung and shaded by trees. Beginning and ending your walk at The George makes it an ideal place to relax.


The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcestershire

Fleece Inn walk, Hidocote/Credit: National Trust Images, John Millar

The Fleece Inn at Bretforton was first licensed in 1848 but was originally built as a farmhouse. It’s just a stone’s throw from the walking wonders of the Cotswold Way National Trail at Chipping Camden, or take a trip to Hidcote for a peaceful garden stroll.

East of England

The Bucks Arms, Blickling, Norfolk

Bucks Arms walk, Blickling/Credit: National Trust images

Enjoy a refreshing walk around most of the Blickling Estate parkland, visiting points of local historical interest including the Tower, Brickyard and Mausoleum. Afterwards why not stop for a drink at National Trust tenanted Bucks Arms. The Bucks is a traditional 17th century pub and former coaching inn.


Gibside Pub, Rowlands Gill, Tyne & Wear 

Gibside Pub/National Trust Images, Chris Lacey

There’s not many pubs that are tucked away on an 18th-century estate and surrounded by over 600 acres of beautiful woodlands, gardens and historical buildings. At Gibside you can enjoy a walk and discover the history as you go then relax in the peaceful surroundings at Gibside Pub.  Look out for late evening opening on Fridays and Saturdays until 30 September, when the whole estate, including the bar, is open until 9pm and there’s made-to-order stone-baked pizza on offer.  It’s the perfect way to make the most of the summer sun and lighter nights.

The Sticklebarn Tavern, Great Langdale, Cumbria

Nestled on the valley floor, Sticklebarn pub is the ideal gateway to walking in Great Langdale, home to the lofty Langdale Pikes. You’ll find plenty of low-level walking in the valley, with views as refreshing as Sticklebarn’s tasty local tipples.

Tower Bank Arms, Near Sawrey, Cumbria 

Tower Bank Arms, Windermere/Credit: National Trust images, Paul Harris

Right next door to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse, the Tower Bank Arms in Near Sawrey offers a cosy retreat after a good stomp in the Lakes. Go on a lakeside amble along Windermere, climb up Latterbarrow or take a romantic stroll up to Moss Eccles Tarn, much loved by Potter herself before seeking out this cosy pub.


Tŷ Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Llŷn Peninsula

Ty Coch Inn walk, Porthdinllaen/Credit: National Trust images, Joe Cornish

Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn Peninsula is a spectacular spot to enjoy a walk on the coast with magnificent views, fine sandy beaches, a chance to watch the comings and goings of local fishermen. The National Trust tenanted, Tŷ Coch Inn, is on hand to provide refreshments.

Northern Ireland

The Crown Bar, Belfast 

Crown Bar, Belfast/Credit: National Trust images. John Hammond

One of Northern Ireland’s most famous pubs, the Crown Bar is a Victorian gem hidden in the streets of Belfast.  Its wonderfully atmospheric setting, with period gas lighting and cosy snugs is a perfect restorative after some urban exploration or a roam around the meadows and woodlands of nearby Minnowburn.


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